So why choose vegan alcohol? And if you do decide to stick with vegan alcoholic drinks, which ones should you go for? Here is a how-to guide for all things vegan alcohol.
Because when you are kicking back and enjoying yourself, you should be able to do so safely in the knowledge that what you’re consuming is cruelty-free, environmentally friendly, and healthy for you and your body.
What is plant-based alcohol?
Well as you might have guessed, vegan alcohol is any alcohol that avoids the use of animal products. Animal products? In alcohol? We hear you say… Well sadly, yes! Here’s a helpful video on the subject.
There are a couple of ingredients that are often used in alcohol production that are a big no-no for vegans. Isinglass is the main offender. It’s often used in the filtration and clarification process. This product is made from dried fish bladders. Yeap. Doesn’t sound very vegan to us either.
Next up, plenty of booze out there uses gelatin. Casein - a protein derived from cow’s milk - is another culprit. Albumin from egg whites is often used too.
And the trickiest thing about all this? So often these products aren’t labeled on your alcohol. They are, essentially, hidden products.
But thankfully things are changing. Increasingly companies are labeling vegan alcohol clearly, and what’s more, there are a growing number of specifically vegan alcoholic drinks out there on the market. As demand grows, producers are moving away from the hidden ingredients and starting to wave their plant-based alcohol colors proudly!
The health benefits of plant-based alcohol
As with all vegan products, the health benefits that come with vegan alcoholic drinks are fantastic.
Scientific studies have recently shown that keeping a vegan diet can help with weight loss. Drinking alcohol can be an unexpected route to weight gain. So it’s a really good place to try and keep it vegan.
Eating vegan has also proven to lower the risk of heart disease and help you manage your blood sugar levels. It’s becoming more and more of a no-brainer. Stick to the vegan alcohol and you’ll be doing your heart a favor.
And finally, when it comes to keeping-it-vegan and your health, the links between an animal-based diet and cancers are becoming more and more evident. And although much of this research is still in its infancy, what we know for sure is that vegan alcoholic drinks are free from animal products that have recently become synonymous with carcinogens.
When drank in moderation, alcohol can also be a great social lubricant and help people form new relations (as we all most certainly know!).
Need we say more? The environmental benefits of going vegan are very well documented. And as environmental issues become more and more fundamental to the way we live, it has never been a better time to stick to vegan alcohol.
Studies have suggested that sticking to a vegan diet can cut your carbon footprint by up to 73%. That’s astonishing. But for too long environmentally conscious people have been consuming alcohol without knowing that animal products are involved. Making the switch over to vegan alcohol drinks is a sure-fire way to do your part.
And what’s more, plant-based alcohol is cruelty-free. No gelatin. No fish. No eggs. Humans have been brewing alcohol for thousands of years without having to bring animals into it! So why must our modern consumer market contaminate alcohol production with animal products?
As is so often the case, the answer to this question is all about profit margins and mass production. But do you need to be a part of this environmentally destructive production chain?
Well, the short answer is: no!
There are a whole bunch of vegan alcohol producers who put the environment ahead of mass production.
A hangover cure?
Did you know that poor production and nasty ingredients can be what gives you a terrible hangover? When you drink plant-based alcohol you can choose your ingredients carefully.
There is increasing evidence that sulfites can have adverse effects on certain consumers, particularly those of us with sulfite-sensitive asthma.
Sulfites can also be particularly irritating for those with sensitive skin. Ever broken out in hives after a night of drinking? Or do you experience digestive problems after you’ve had a few? Well, sulfites might be the culprit.
Our top plant-based alcohol recommendations
1. Shilling Hard Cider
Why not try this Shilling Hard Cider for something that is brilliantly tasty, but without the calorific side effects? It comes in a bunch of different flavors. A fresh healthy plant-based alcohol that will give you one less thing to regret in the morning.
2. Ketch IPA
IPAs like this beauty from Ketch Brewing are free from animal products that are increasingly being linked with poor heart health.
3. Honcho Spiked Seltzer
Why not go for this spiked seltzer from Honcho? It is free from added sugar that doesn’t pile on the sugar load.
4. Inkarri Cabernet Sauvignon
Or opt for something full-bodied and velvety like this Cabernet Sauvignon by Inkarri. You can enjoy this vegan alcoholic drink safe in the knowledge that you are involved in a cruelty-free practice.
5. Rare Earth Organic Pinot
Take this Rare Earth Organic Wine. It’s made with organic ingredients and is sustainably grown using regenerative farming practices. These practices enrich the soil and - VERY importantly - promote biodiversity. When plant-based alcohol tastes this good, why wouldn’t you?
6. Organic Frey
The same goes for this 100% Organic Frey Syrah. It’s a hearty, plummy wine and there are absolutely no added sulfites..
7. Pizzolato Pinot
Plant-based alcohol like this Merlot from Pizzolato might just be the perfect drink for you. Totally free from synthetic sulfites and other additives, this is a wine that is all about natural flavors. A delicate wine with a full-body, this is a vegan alcohol lover's dream.
Complete with its distinct dragonfly label, this wine is grown in a biodiverse vineyard. Pair it with a vegan Mediterranean dish and you won't regret it. I mean, how could you?
And that's a wrap!
Even if you forget all of these extraordinary benefits of consuming vegan alcohol, there is another reason to stick to plant-based alcohol. It is just where all the innovation is right now.
With veganism on the rise in a very major way so much energy is being poured into vegan production. Producers are doing amazing research and developing amazing drinks. It’s where the party is at.
So even if your only priority is to get your hands on the best drinks you can, then you should be opting for plant-based alcohol.
So get involved. This era will be looked back on as a golden age of brewing, distilling, and fermentation. There are new companies out there that will become household names.
Want to learn a little more? Have a look at this really interesting video. It’s a great Vodcast from PlantX in which Sean speaks to Kellie Davenport of Serendipity Wines. They chat all about vegan wines. Kellie explains how vegan wines are produced and talks about some of her favorite vegan wines right now. Before you know it, you’ll be a vegan wine expert.
So get on it! Have a browse through these vegan alcoholic drinks, serve up a plant-based alcohol at your dinner party, sit back and enjoy the vegan alcohol of your choice at the end of your hard day. It’s a big world out there. Enjoy it!